We Are Not Intimidated by Ramdev's Noodles: Nestle Chief

Published: 10th February 2016 08:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2016 09:23 PM   |  A+A-


MUMBAI: Nestle India today said its Maggi brand of noodles is getting good traction in the market ever since it was reintroduced last November, and asserted that it is "not intimidated" by yoga guru Ramdev's noodles which got introduced during the same time.  

"Every competitor energises the market, they do not intimidate the existing players," Nestle India chairman and managing director Suresh Narayanan told reporters, when asked about the entry of the Patanjali brand of noodles.           

"We have reintroduced Maggi across the country and the response has been overwhelming; we're truly humbled by the consumer response," he told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Nasscom summit here.   Last month, the yoga guru had claimed that his Patanjali brand of noodles would soon oust Maggi as the top brand in the country.   

According to domestic brokerage IIFL, Patanjali is expected to clock sales of Rs 20,000 crore by 2019-20, from a turnover of Rs 2,000 crore in 2014-15. When asked if the emergence of competition, especially something like Patanjali that claims to be a healthier alternative, would result in a change in the way Maggi is being manufactured now, Narayanan replied in the negative.      

Narayanan said the company has also introduced the chicken variant of the popular noodles and is selling it over e-commerce major Snapdeal. In the immediate future, the company is looking at introducing other variants of the noodles and also introduce newer products in other categories like dairy, coffee and chocolates, he added.

The newer products that Nestle is planning to launch will be both high-end and mass consumption ones, he said. Narayanan said Maggi used to contribute a fourth of revenues for Nestle India and with time, he hopes to increase the share.     

"With the coming back of Maggi, there'll be a revival of fortunes for us. I'm not unrealistic, it will be a process and it will evolve gradually," he said.    The company will look "aggressively" at opportunities of selling its products through the e-commerce portals, which are used increasingly by the youth, he said.            

When asked about the marketing spends on Maggi's re-launch, Narayanan said it is "significant" enough to "make a dent". Following the nationwide ban in June last year, the company had reported net losses for the first time in over three decades in the September quarter.   

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